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Jobseeker Career Advice

Non-Academic Credentials Employers Look Out For

Non-Academic Credentials Employers Look Out For

If everyone were the same, the world would be a very dull place, and not everybody is academic in the sense that they are able to achieve straight As in their GCSE or A-level results. If an individual does not excel at school academically, they are likely to have talents elsewhere, so it is all about harnessing those abilities to help them find a career they will love.


If you have not been able to focus in maths or science lessons, perhaps you have shown promise in drama, art or music? The path for actors, artists and musicians is not mapped out in the traditional way, so you could start by joining a club to make new contacts, or perhaps a weekend job in a gallery, for example. Similarly, many people who go on to learn a trade start off with work experience in their various fields in order to ensure the job is right for them. For those who are not academic, it is therefore all about the skills and experiences they can bring to the table in finding a position that is a good fit.


Those who are involved in extracurricular activities will find themselves more attractive to prospective employers. All different kinds of pursuits can help to make a good impression, highlighting the transferable skills that would be useful in a new role. A good place to start is joining a sports team or even coaching a group of youngsters in your chosen sport. Being able to work as part of a team and show competitive spirit is a positive attribute that many employers would look upon favourably. If you are unable to get involved directly, there is still the opportunity to enjoy sport through following your local team or offering your support in fundraising efforts.


Voluntary work is a great way to present yourself in a good light. You may be able to assist elderly neighbours with odd jobs, volunteer at a local charity shop or offer a listening ear to those in need. Helping others in your own time not only demonstrates your compassion and people skills but it also shows you are ready for the real world of work. Similarly, work experience is a valuable step on the career ladder, helping you to stand out from other applicants by showing you are serious about the job you have tasted.


Many employers look for organisational skills in any job candidate, so consider what you can do to present yourself as someone who is organised, can manage time effectively and show signs of leadership. Why not arrange a craft fair or fundraiser to boost your credentials? If you do not wish to run the event singlehandedly, you could add your name to the list of volunteers at your local council or charity organisation. Just imagine the feeling of success when your event comes to fruition. It will also give you the opportunity to show examples of the skills a prospective employer will look for when it comes to any job interview.


Aside from sports clubs, there are other societies you can join to give your CV a helping hand, from sewing and gardening, to painting and choir groups. By showing you are a fully-fledged member of a local group in this way, you will be able to demonstrate your social skills, the ability to keep an interest and the fact that you like to have fun outside work. This should not be overlooked, as every employer ideally wants to select a candidate who will be friendly, show a positive working attitude and bring something extra to their workforce. So, have a think about the leisure activities you enjoy and how they reflect positively on you.


If you have your sights set on a certain job but do not have the desired entry requirements, you could enrol on an evening class or an extra-skills related workshop to show you are eager to secure a position in this field. Why not take a first-aid course to enhance your skillset or even an advanced driving programme? Involvement is the first step, but if you wish to take it further, you could consider taking on a leadership position.


For those who do not have the luxury of working for free, a part-time job earning money may be a necessity. This will also provide great work experience, whether it be in retail, hospitality or helping with the family business. You could even be so shrewd as to spot a gap in the market and decide to create your own small business opportunity. What better way to promote your drive, determination and entrepreneurial instinct? Be inspired to write a blog based around your new business, or failing that, a hobby or topic area that interests you. This would work towards presenting you as an interactive and media-savvy individual, as well as someone who is highly employable.


Last but not least, do you have any special achievements that make you feel proud? Whether you have completed your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award or won first place in a poetry competition, these accomplishments help you to stand you out from the crowd and give the impression of a well-rounded individual – the type of person any employer would be happy to have on their team!